The Catholic University of America

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The Department of History combines the intimacy of a liberal arts college with the rigor of a research university.


Undergraduate education culminates in small intensive seminars and in original research. Where possible connections are made to Washington, DC, as a central location for U.S. and international history and as a city rich in research opportunities and jobs for our alumni.

Graduate education is concentrated in the following fields: medieval, early and late modern Europe; United States; and Latin America. Particular strengths are Catholic History, the history of religion, political culture, religious history, intellectual history, the history of migrations, and the history of women and gender.

Faculty members have won fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the NEH, the American Academy in Rome, the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton, the Humboldt Foundation, the SSRC, the DAAD, the American Academy in Berlin, the Huntington Library, and the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.

Washington, DC is an outstanding city for graduate research, starting with the Library of Congress and including the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Archives and Dumbarton Oaks. A consortium links CUA to the many other DC-area universities. The department has an impressive record of job placement for alumni of its masters and Ph.D. programs.


Contact Information:

Katherine Jansen, Department Chair (email:

Julia Young, Director of Undergraduate Studies  (email:

Jennifer Davis, Director of Graduate Studies (email:


Catholic University of America
Department of History
620 Michigan Ave., NE
230 O'Boyle Hall
Washington, DC 20064

(202) 319-5484



What can you do with a history degree? Catch up with some of our graduates on our new Alumni Stories page!


Featured Alumni


Amada Beltrán, Class of 2014, is currently studying for her Ph.D. in history at the University of California, Berkeley. Read more here!








Miniard Culpepper, Jr., Class of 2012, completed law school at Suffolk University, and now works as a Legal Honors Attorney for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Read more here!







Brett Kline, Class of 2011, is a Team Lead at Google, Inc.  Learn about his path here!



Congratulations to Ryan Carpenter for defending his Ph.D. dissertation, "Peace Through Strength: Pentagon Policymakers, The Reagan Buildup, and America’s National Security Policy, 1981-1983", on November 3, 2017.

Congratulations to Carol Anderson who has won the American Catholic Historical Association's Student Summer Research Grant to conduct research for her dissertation this summer in Italy. 

Congratulations to Dr. Jerry Muller, who received the Provost's Award for excellence in research.
Congratulations to Dr. Caroline Sherman, who received the Provost's Award for excellence in early career teaching.
Congratulations to Erica Fuller, whose senior thesis on "The Sylvia Likens Case and the Transformation of Media Coverage of Child Abuse in America" appeared in the May 2017 issue of History Matters.
Congratulations to Bridget Power, senior history major and member of the CUA women's basketball team, who has been named to the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll.  She has earned Honor Roll distinction all three years she has been eligible.
Doctoral student, Atlas Tian Xu, gave a paper at the American Catholic Historical Association meeting held in Denver, Colorado at the American Historical Association annual meeting on January 6, 2017 entitled, "Evading the 'Absurdly Sanguine': William Bourke Cockran, American Catholicism, and the Cause of Anti-imperialism, 1904-8"

Congratulations to Austin Powell for winning a grant from the Cosmos Foundation to support work on his doctoral dissertation, "Charisma, Community, and Authority: Dominican Epistolary Practice in Italy, 1300-1500" supervised by Prof. K. L. Jansen.

Jennifer Davis published "The Curious Persistence of Frankish Law," in The Berlin Journal 30 (2016), pp. 52-55.

Arpad von Klimo gave a talk on the "Collapse of the Stalinist Politics of Memory in Hungary after 1956" at the workshop, "New Directions in the Scholarship on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution held at the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He participated in the panel "Religious Persecution under Communism" held at CUA.  He also gave a comment on the premiere of "Keep Quiet" at the Jewish Film Festival in Philadelphia.

Dr. Jennifer Paxton gave a daylong seminar for Smithsonian Associates entitled "How the Britons Became the English, the Welsh, and the Scottish: Creating a United Kingdom."

Arpad von Klimo published a comment under the title “‘Fancy, sexy und trendy.’ Popkultur als Erinnerungspolitik: 60 Jahre Ungarn 1956.”  Website “Ungarn 1956. Geschichte und Erinnerung.” Zeitgeschichte-online. 

Laura Mayhall published an article entitled, “‘It's Your Face That Is Carrying You Through!’ Class, Gender, and Celebrity in Nancy Astor's 1919 Campaign for Parliament,” in the current issue of Feminist Media Histories (Fall 2016).

Nelson Minnich gave a lecture entitled, “The Quest for Peace among Christian Princes at Lateran V (1512-17),” at “Tagung: Konzil und Frieden,” at the Humboldt Universit?t Berlin, 16 September 2016. He also published an article entitled, “Teutonic Knights and Poland at the Fifth Lateran Council,” Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum 46 (2014), 191-224. And finally, he organized an international conference in Rome on October 12-14 entitled: “ALLA RICERCA DI SOLUZIONI:NUOVA LUCE SUL V CONCILIO LATERANENSE, Convegno Internazionale di Studi per i 500 anni del V Concilio Lateranense.” He also gave one of the lectures, moderated the final discussion, and led a guided tour of the conciliar site in the Lateran Basilica.

Jennifer Paxton gave a lecture on 18 October to the Alexandria-Caen Sister Cities Committee in Alexandria, Virginia entitled, “William the (Lucky) Bastard: The Norman Conquest and the Original ‘October Surprise.’”

Stephen West gave a paper entitled "'Rendered Absolutely Necessary ... by the Truculence of the Southern States': Republican Memoirists Explain the Origins of Black Suffrage, 1879-1895" at the conference "Reconciliation after Civil Wars: Global Perspectives," sponsored by the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, of Virginia Tech.

Jennifer Davis gave a talk entitled "Legal Plurality" at the Transformation of the Carolingian World Workshop at Princeton University

Nelson Minnich delivered a lecture "A volte si vince, a volte si perde, sempre fedeli servitori del Papa: Il ruolo dei Domenicani al Concilio Laterano V (1512-1517)” at a conference in Rome commemorating the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Order of  Preachers

Jennifer Paxton was a study leader for a Smithsonian tour of Scotland, delivering lectures on "Three Famous Scots": Bonnie Prince Charlie, Macbeth, and Mary Queen of Scots"

Lev Weitz gave a talk, "Islamic Society and Christian History: Scholarly Categories and Meideval Middle Eastern Historiography," at the workshop Recovering the Role of Christians in the History of the Middle East at Princeton University

Steve West gave a lecture on "The Road (Back) to Home Rule: Washington, DC and the Second Reconstruction, 1963-75" at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum

Julia Young gave a lecture entitled "The Catholic Church in Mexico in the 20th Century" for the Western History Intensive Seminar, at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State

Congratulations to Carol Anderson, PhD candidate, who has been awarded this year's Graduate Teaching Award to honor excellence in teaching

Clare Hennigan, B.A. 15, has published a revised version of her senior thesis, "The 'Last Ditch' of Oppression: Charles Sumner and Public Schools in the District of Columbia" in the Spring 2016 issue of Washington History

Congratulations to Karen Hernandez for winning 3rd place (in the pre-1900 category) at the Phi Alpha Theta Mid-Atlantic History Conference for "Struggle in the Andes: Garcilaso de la Vega’s Defense of the Inca"

Congratulations to senior Sam Aurilia on winning the 2016 Zeender Prize for her thesis, “Contradictions and Coalitions: the Anti Rape Movement in the United States, 1968-1975.”

Congratulations to graduate students Jim Zibro, Kate Bush, Laura Hohman, and Seth Smith, who all successfully defended their Ph.D. dissertations in April 2016!

Congrats to graduate alumna Melodie Eichbauer, Ph.D.on winning a prestigious fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Davis for having won a membership at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study for academic year 2016-2017. She has also won a fellowship for a semester at the American Academy in Berlin.

Congratulations to Carol Anderson on winning a grant from the Cosmos Club Foundation for work on her dissertation entitled, Sacred Histories: Remembering the Christian Past in Medieval Italian Cities (ca. 1100-1350) under the direction of Prof. Katherine L. Jansen

Congratulations to Jay Carney (Ph.D., Church History, 2010), who was awarded the annual Bethwell Ogot prize for best book in East African Studies by the African Studies Association for his study of the missionary church in Rwanda.